Speaking at the ongoing SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann was categorical in his advice to startups who are always hunkering for more and more advice; don’t take it.
Silbermann, who co-founded the popular photo sharing and collecting startup said that in may instances, startup founders believe that the more advice they can get, the greater the chance that they will actually succeed.
“Don’t take too much advice,” says Silbermann. “Most people who have a lot of advice to give — with a few exceptions — generalize whatever they did,” he says.
It’s a popular misconception where startup founders go out looking for industry veterans to offer them advice on what they should or should not do and this advice eventually ends up mixing up signals for the founder and making it harder to make quick gut-feeling decisions.
When asked why the website is still in invite-only mode, he was not very forthcoming and alluded to the fact that it is a situation they find themselves in and are not quite ready to budge even though the website user-base has swollen to millions of visitors and users.
“Every company carves its own path, and [founders] are under pressure to make their startups look like the last successful company everyone remembers.”
He was also quick to add that many founders err when they mix up their private relationships with their work relationships. This forces them into a situation where there is never any time or place where they can switch off the company and just experience life. His advice, keep your personal relationships private and don’t get them muddled in work, they are what will keep you sane when things get really crazy at work.